Operation Care for Troops of the DC Area and Faith Baptist Church of Vienna have joined forces to help care for a wounded warrior.
Jared Lemon lost his arm while in combat in 2008. The same day he was injured, nine of his friends were killed in combat. Lemon suffers from PTSD and recently lost housing, Operation Care for Troops of the DC Area Executive Director Joyce Ammen said.
“He’s a good person with a big heart,” Ammen said. “He has come so far in the last year since I met him.”
At the Vienna Farmers Market 'Give Back Day' event Saturday, kids drew pictures to send to troops serving overseas and patrons signed a banner to show their support for soldiers and veterans. Donations were also being collected to help Lemon settle into his new home.
Shannon Mathews of Faith Baptist Church was looking for a new service project that involved helping veterans.
“Once a month, we hold a kids’ event at the Vienna Farmers Market,” Mathews said. “We wanted to do something [at an event] to support the troops and give back to the community.”
Mathews met Ammen on a trip to Wal-Mart and decided Operation Care for Troops was a good fit. The organizations partnered to collect housewares, furniture, food, and funds over the last few weeks to help Lemon.
Helping wounded warriors is a cause close to Ammen’s heart. Her fiancé was killed by an IED while serving in the military a decade ago.
“I’ve seen [wounded] soldiers come home and you have to be a mother, sister, and brother to them,” Ammen said. “[The experience] has taught me not to be selfish, life is too short.”
She “works 24/7,” soliciting donations from the community, working with soldiers and wounded warriors to help them acclimate to life back in the United States.
“What you put in is what you get out of it,” Ammen says of her service.
The next food drive and fundraiser to help Jared Lemon is scheduled for Labor Day weekend at the Whole Foods Market on Maple Ave. in Vienna. Ammen and Operation Care for Troops hope to raise $4,000 to help Lemon get settled in his new apartment and help with food for a month. For more information and to learn how to help, visit http://www.octroops.org/default.asp.